If you’re facing a disability and looking into Social Security disability benefits, the first thing you need to know is if your condition qualifies. The simple fact that you can no longer return to work is a good place to start this process, but the government is going to need to know a lot more about your condition, how it impacts you, exactly why you can’t work and what your projected recovery is.
As such, it’s wise to consider the various categories and disorders that may qualify as a disability under the definition as provided by the Social Security Administration. The basis of this definition is as follows:
You have the “inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
You can already begin to see the divisions even within that definition itself, in that the SSA makes a determination that the disability can be either mental or physical. But these are just the most broad categories that are used, and you can typically break things down much further.
Examples of conditions that may qualify
Every situation is unique and there are a lot of factors that will have to be considered in your case, but the following are a number of common conditions that may qualify for Social Security disability benefits:
- Psychiatric/mental illness claims
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injury/back and neck claims
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (CRPS/RSD)
- Lupus and autoimmune diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cancer disability
- Complications of diabetes
- Complications of stroke
- Rheumatoid arthritis/polyarthritis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Agent Orange Exposure/VA claims
- Migraines/seizures/chronic headaches
This is a good place to start, but it’s also important to note that there are different disabilities that may not fit perfectly into these categories. You also have to consider that documentation and medical evidence are needed to show that something actually is a disability, even with this type of diagnosis. There is a reason that the majority of claims are denied initially, but there are typically a lot of options for you to appeal this decision and still fight to get the benefits that you know you deserve. Be sure that you take the time to carefully look into all of these options and to know exactly what legal steps to take as you move forward with this process.